Principal Stockwell’s face was distant with thought for a moment. “I understand your concern for your son’s health, but there may be an easier way to resolve this,” he leaned back into his chair, the material of his suit sliding across itself. “The medical staff would be happy to discuss options with you if you would like.” The parents nodded and he stretched his arm out to press a button on his desk phone.
A voice buzzed in, “Yes, Dr. Stockwell?”
“Hey, Angie,” he addressed his secretary, “can you escort the parents of ‘Lochwood’ to the medical wing?”
“Why of course!” the voice replied cheerfully. Soon enough a young woman in a pale blue skirt and matching high heels appeared in the doorway. The school secretary led the two parents down the hall and out of the office’s waiting room. Her heels clacked on the tiles of the floor and bounced off the high ceiling and distant walls, echoing as they walked down the large empty hallway. They reached another hardwood door with a modestly embellished plaque that read ‘NURSE’S OFFICE.’
Once inside, they were led into a back room by a little old woman in a pastel scrub, where they were met with the sight of a young boy, about 14, lying on a simple bed. The paper spread across the bed crinkled as he sat up, and his dark hair was damp with sweat and stuck to his forehead. “Mom? Dad?” he asked groggily.
“Oh honey are you okay?” Mrs. Lochwood rushed to sit on the crepe paper next to him and placed a hand on his back.
“Yeah, it was just another seizure,” he said quietly, his head hanging and his eyes downcast.
“We heard,” the father took a step closer to his son. “Listen. We’re going to place you in a different school. We think studying here is dangerous for you.”
Upon registering what he had just heard, the boy’s face morphed into a mix of anger and shock. “What!? You can’t! You can’t do that!” His voice cracked on the last word.
“Please just listen to us.”
“No!” the black-haired boy tried to remove himself from his mother’s touch. “No, it’s always been my dream to study here! Please don’t take me out! There has to be something you can do!” he pleaded. The mere thought of having to leave the prestigious school, after all the effort it took him to get into it, made him break out into more sweat. His hair, darker than coal, was further plastered to his face.
Mr. Lochwood let out a deep breath, his eyes tightly shut as he remembered what the principal had told them earlier. “Well…”